In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Thursday, October 27, 2011


(Maurício Carrilho, Paulo Sérgio Santos and Pedro Amorim, Brasil, 1993)

It's amazing what one could find in discounted bin. Some of the best music I have comes straight from the 1 € CD bin.  And this OOP CD is a case in point. Absolutely delightful music!

I forgot to scan the sleeve notes but here is what AMG has to say about this group:

O Trio is a choro group which has been giving an important contribution for the development of the tradition. O Trio has no percussion, instead they count on two of the most experienced choro players in Brazil and an internationally awarded classical wind musician (also an excellent chorão). They're searching for a kind of flexibility that withdraws from folklore, but manages to keep their music deeply emotional and faithful to the choro genre while absorbing erudite influences. In 1986, Maurício Carrilho (violão or acoustic guitar), Pedro Amorim (mandolin/violão tenor), and Paulo Sérgio Santos (clarinet, soprano/alto saxes) teamed up to celebrate Radamés Gnattali's 80th anniversary. After performances in Europe, U. S., and Japan, they recorded their first album, O Trio (released in Europe in 1993), which was praised by critics and won the 1994 Sharp prize as best instrumental album. O Trio also won the 1994 Sharp prize as best instrumental group. In 1995 O Trio recorded an album accompanying Teca Calazans.

This album mixes traditional choro numbers by the great composers such as Ernesto Nazareth, Pixinguinha etc. with Scott Joplin's ragtimes,  There is definitely a common Afro-American heritage underlaying these New World musics (and one could also include early Tango in the list).

Beautiful music, hope you'll enjoy it!

Comin' soon : rare Swedish Jazz ... à suivre!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


(of the Uralsky All Stars)
My Little Rolly (Timeless, NL, 1996)

Another CD found in a discount bin for about one euro.  Two things attracted me to this album: the photo of Oleg Plotnkov on the cover, he looked so square he had to be good!  ... and then there were a couple of numbers with "boogie" in the title. I’m a sucker for boogie woogie  esp. cheesy ones.  I have a whole set of old scratchy 78 rpm with boogie in the titles, played on the most awkward instruments.

Oleg PLOTNIKOV is a Russian jazz pianist now residing in Holland.  I couldn’t find any information on the Net and the record sleeve is useless.  The only information is that he is/was the piano-player in The Uralsky all Stars, a Dixieland / Swing aggregation. That put me off a bit as i dislike Dixieland as much as I like boogie woogie.

So here it is!  
Do not expect avant-garde or  even modal music here, this album is a decent boogie woogie / swing album with a dash of (Oh so very mild) funk (Watermelon Man). One could question his choice of numbers (Blueberry Hills ...!).

Anyway, if you like boogie woogie pianists, this album should make you happy.  Oleg Plotnikov has a solid left hand.  A pianist friend of mine once told me that despite its apparent simplicity boogie woogie was a difficult and physically demanding style: just try holding those fast moving bass notes during 6:30 minutes (as in My Little Rolly), you’ll feel it deep in your muscles !

Oleg Plotnikov - piano
Serguei Ouzkikh - bass
Andrei Makarov - drums

1) My Little Rolly                   (6.29)                             (Plotnikov)
2) Octave Boogie                   (4.30)                             (Plotnikov)
3) Blueberry Hill                     (6.51)                              ( Benson / Asher)
4) Watermelon Man                (7.13)                             ( Hancock)
5) St. Louis Blues                    (7.44)                             ( Handy)
6) China Girl                           (6.18)                              ( Plotnikov)
7) Singer M. Boogie                (2.37)                              ( Plotnikov)
8) Cat On The Strings              (2.44)                              ( Plotnikov)

Recorded at Farmhouse Studio, Doorwerth, Holland, 19 October and 21 November 1995.

I'm pretty sure that if this album had been issued 25 years earlier, it would be revered and as collectable as any Rob Hoeke or Rob Agerbeek.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

JAZZ & STRINGS – the Belgian Touch

Steve Houben + strings
featuring Guy Cabay / Michel Herr / Dennis Luxion (Belgium, 1982)

 For many years Belgian saxophonist / flautist Steve Houben had a dream: that one day he’d  set up a big band associating a jazz ensemble and a string section.  In 1983, the dream became reality ! It was a première in the fairly rich history of Belgian Jazz.  This first experiment in Belgium met a real popular, if un-expected, success, and was especially well received on stage. 
Obviously, the formula filled the expectation of a large and curious public, demonstrating that there was an audience for sophisticated and adventurous jazz in Belgium.

The success of the record rests obviously on the talent of Steve Houben but benefits greatly from the combined talents of the three composers - Michel Herr, Guy Cabay and Denis Luxion – who crafted 12 original pieces especially for the project.

The original album was released on the LDH label in 1983 and it is the original LP which was used for this rip.  The album was remixed and re-released on CD in 1995 on the Igloo label.
I thought it was OOP but it is still available from Igloo.  Which raises a bit of a conscience dilemma: should I still post it or shouldn’t I?
I do not think that I’m doing a disservice to Steve Houben or Igloo by bringing this music to the attention of a much larger international audience.

So listen to the album and if you like it, buy it here.

Tracks :
1. The lady in red shoes (Dennis Luxion)
2. Thinking of you (M. Herr)
3. Ephémérides (Guy Cabay)
4. Unsung song (Dennis Luxion)
5. Pastel puzzle for Toots : Ouverture, Choral, Little Blues, Désinence (Guy Cabay)
6. Long distance (M. Herr) (theme from the tv film San Francisco)

Musicians :
Steve Houben - alto & soprano saxophone, flute
Michel Herr - piano, composer/arranger of tracks 2 & 6
Guy Cabay - vibraphone, composer/arranger of tracks 3 & 5
Dennis Luxion -piano, composer/arranger of tracks 1 & 4
Michel Hatzigeorgiou - electric bass
Mimi Verderame - drums
+ string section, conducted by the composers

Recorded in 1982 at Gam studio in Waismes, Belgium. LP (LDH 1004).
A CD version, remixed, was released in 1995 (Igloo IGL121).

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Basso – Valdambrini Octet (Italy, 1959)

Paul D, who is a fine connaisseur of Italian Jazz, suggested we post something Italian this month.  There are already a few excellent blogs devoted to Transalpine Jazz and we did not want to duplicate any post already available.  We decided to start with one of the most famous partnerships in the history of Italian / European Jazz: tenor sax Gianni Basso & trumpet-player Oscar Valdambrini aka Basso - Valdambrini.

As the first Basso-Valdambrini Quintet LP (1959) is already posted on the Jazz from Italy blog, we settled to post the second album, A New Sound from Italy, also recorded in 1959 but in an Octet configuration. The LP is pretty rare in vinyl format but it had been reissued on CD by a small Italian label in 2003.  The CD combined two LPs under the title "Blues for Gassman": this LP and the album Basso Valdambrini present Dino Piana.  However, to the best of our knowledge, the CD is already OOP. 
Since Paul has both the LP and the CD, he just ripped the eight original tracks from the CD. Less work and probably better sound quality!

So here is an opportunity to hear this classic EuroJazz LP which features also Swedish legend Lars Gullin on six out of the eight selections.

A new sound from italy

a)  Oscar Valdambrini (tp) Mario Pezzotta (tb) Attilio Donadio (as) Gianni Basso (ts) Lars Gullin (bar) Renato Sellani (p) Franco Cerri (b) Jimmy Pratt (d)

Milan, December 10, 1959

b)  same  -  Milan, December 17, 1959

c)  Oscar Valdambrini (tp) Mario Pezzotta (tb) Glauco Masetti (as) Gianni Basso (ts) Lars Gullin (bar) Renato Sellani (p) Franco Cerri (b) Jimmy Pratt (d)

Milan, December 21, 1959

d)  Oscar Valdambrini (tp) Mario Pezzotta (tb) Glauco Masetti (as) Gianni Basso (ts) Attilio Donadio (bar) Renato Sellani (p) Franco Cerri (b) Jimmy Pratt (d)

Milan, December 23, 1959 

1.  INDIANA (c)

 Basso-Valdambrini discography here